What are Schools for Advanced Studies?
Gifted/talented students demonstrate evidence of high achievement in an identified area and need specialized services and support to fully develop their potential and support their academic success. Gifted/Talented Programs, Advanced Learning Options, is committed to ensuring that the unique academic and social-emotional needs of gifted/talented learners are met in every K-12 District school, including local schools of residence. Each L.A. Unified school with identified gifted learners, regardless of program type, must cluster-group gifted learners for instruction and provide meaningful differentiated learning opportunities that challenge students to achieve beyond grade-based standards and expectations.
Schools for Advanced Studies demonstration sites receive the SAS designation for their exemplary Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) implementation. The Schools for Advanced Studies designation, initially implemented in the 1998–1999 school year, was created to acknowledge exemplary school models of innovative, equitable and effective GATE practices districtwide. By providing high-quality differentiated instruction with an emphasis on depth, complexity, acceleration and novelty, SAS sites offer high-level academic opportunities that meet the unique educational needs of K–12 gifted learners, identified in the Intellectual Ability, High Achievement Ability, Specific Academic Ability, Creative Ability and Leadership Ability categories or verified based on critical thinking/achievement. Resident schools must undergo a rigorous application process every five years to obtain or maintain the SAS designation.
What are the goals of the instructional program?
The goal of Gifted/Talented Programs is to identify gifted and talented students, including those from diverse racial, socioeconomic, linguistic and cultural backgrounds, and to provide high-quality differentiated opportunities for learning that develop and advance students’ unique abilities and talents.
The Schools for Advanced Studies designation reflects the District’s commitment to ensure equitable access, excellence and accountability to high-quality gifted/talented programs districtwide. SAS sites serve as District demonstration centers for innovative and research-based differentiated curriculum and instruction for gifted/high ability learners in multiple categories. Schools for Advanced Studies sites have a proven commitment and ability to offer a sustained, highly effective, exemplary Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) program that includes essential GATE program components: 1) Gifted Identification, 2) Instruction and Academic Achievement of GATE Learners, 3) Knowledgeable and Skilled Staff in Gifted Education and 4) Parent, Family, and Community Engagement.
Differentiation is an essential part of ensuring that the unique educational needs of gifted/talented students are appropriately addressed in the GATE/SAS classroom. Differentiated programming is not “more of the same” or simply acceleration of content/pacing, but also includes depth, complexity and novelty. GATE/SAS cluster grouping allows schools to provide more challenging coursework, giving gifted/high ability learners daily access to advanced content and new learning, as well as providing students with an academic peer group in core subjects.
How are Teachers Trained?
Gifted/talented learners must be taught by knowledgeable teachers, skilled in differentiating curriculum and instruction to support and advance their learning. As such, GATE professional development–specialized training about gifted/talented learners and how they learn best–is an essential and ongoing part of the expectations for SAS teachers and administrators. Each school’s GATE program must be supported by administrators, GATE coordinator and instructional support staff with developed expertise in GATE. SAS teachers and administrators are required to participate annually in professional development specifically tailored to address the unique academic and social-emotional needs of gifted/talented learners to ensure that the curriculum and instruction (content, process and product) are thoughtfully differentiated to promote a culture of rigor, achievement and innovation.
Who is eligible?
How are students selected?
SAS applicants who meet eligibility criteria and who reside outside school boundaries, but within L.A. Unified boundaries, may be selected for participation after students residing within the boundaries of a designated SAS site are accommodated. If spaces are available, a selection process for qualifying SAS applicants will be conducted in this order:
Is there transportation?
BEFORE MAKING YOUR SELECTION, PLEASE NOTE THAT TRANSPORTATION IS NOT PROVIDED FOR SAS.
Who can I contact for more information?
Please call the Choices Support Line at (213) 241-4177 if you have questions about Schools for Advanced Studies.